Getting started with Nyxt, privacy and hardening?

Hi there,

I am very interested in using this browser, but I just don’t really know where to start!

The things holding me back are for example the lack of an adblocker equivilent to something like ublock origin. As such I read this issue:

Despite reading the entirity of the issue, I am still a bit unclear on which extensions work. As the issue is still open I assume extensions do work but there just hasn’t been one made similar to ublock origin for example? Also where can I find these extensions? (I have seen the extensions page document about the ones written in common lisp)

Also looking through the documentation, I noticed there is a “blocker-mode” which can block ads via a hosts file. That is about all I can find (I may not have looked hard enough) where would I aquire additional filter lists? For example, is it as easy as just git cloning easylist?

I have mentioned ublock origin being a factor for me, I am not opposed to foregoing this but I have been under the impression host based blocking is “inferior” (?) - could someone help me understand if that is or isn’t the case?

I also found this site criticizing in general minimal browsers How to choose a browser for everyday use? which may unduly have influenced by concerns about trying one. For instance with a host based ad blocking solution could I have images enabled without worrying about so-called tracking-pixels? Or would images need to be disabled entirelyas suggested in the link?

Again trying to figure out a solution I found this post:

Are the settings linked to an example of a fully locked down configuration file? Personally as someone that knows nothing about common lisp, and maybe this already exists? But modifying something that does exist would be a great starting point (no doubt I will find it aftet posting lol, so the following may not apply…) I think it would be useful to have a super lockeddown and annotated config file available similar to arken.js. Personally I’d rather disable most things and enable as needed - obviously this would have to be an option and not the default.

Basically all I’ve used is firefox/librewolf with ublock origin - I have assumed its safe and reasonably good regarding privacy. But if Nyxt can provide a similar or better experience I’d love to know how it’s better and where to get started, as I’d like an alternative to use!

Sorry for the essay. I can see the passion for this project by the devs and community so look forward to hearing back soon.


@bob support for WebExtensions is still experimental but we’re actively working on it. When that lands, you’ll be able to run extensions such as uBlock.

As of today blocker-mode is your best bet. See Need for WebExtensions? · Issue #2875 · atlas-engineer/nyxt · GitHub for a discussion on the topic.

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Thank you, I’ll have a read!

I’ve responded about hardening Nyxt on Reddit a couple of times: here’s one answer, here’s another.

But these are quite isolated, so here’s a bit more context on that:

  • Nyxt provideds a reduce-tracking-mode, which currently removes tracking parameters, mimicks another browsers’ user agents, and adjusts the timezone/language to be the most neutral.
  • There’s make-buffer-with-context which allows to create independent contexts (same as Firefox’ Containers) for different uses.
  • There’s blocker-mode you’ve mentioned, and it’s host-only, so easylist won’t work—it uses a more involved AdBlock list syntax. So yeah, blocking needs some improvement.
  • There are no-image-mode, no-webgl-mode, and no-script-mode to toggle the respective features. The only solid way to fight tracking pixels that we have in Nyxt.
    • There’s a reduce-bandwidth-mode that unifies all of these. Even though it mainly exists to save bandwidth, it might be useful for privacy.
  • We rely on WebKit for most of renderer-level security/privacy things.

You can look at my config, where I’ve tried to annotate as much as possible, and included some of the privacy features of Nyxt (reduce-tracking-mode, and a useful shortcut for make-buffer-with-context at least). But yeah, no comprehensive privacy build that I heard of.

I’m still new to nyxt, but I’d like to also mention that you can block ads & trackers on the dns level, which is a more secure method than just a web extension & applied network wide.

I believe most VPN providers provide something like that if you don’t like setting it up by yourself